English poet and dramatist. He is the author of Supposes (1573), a translation of I suppositi by Ludovico Ariosto, and the earliest extant comedy in English prose; Jocasta (1573), a version of the Phoenissae of Euripides, the second earliest tragedy in blank verse; an original comedy The Glasse of Government (1575); and a verse narrative The Complaynte of Phylomene (1587). His satire in blank verse, The Steele Glas, appeared in 1576.
Gascoigne was born in Cardington, Bedfordshire, and educated at Canterbury and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1555 he was entered at Gray's Inn, and was member of Parliament for Bedford 1557–59. Owing to his prodigality he was disinherited by his father, and fled from his creditors to Holland, where he took service under the Prince of Orange against the Spaniards 1572–75. On his return he accompanied Queen Elizabeth on one of her royal progresses, and to celebrate the event wrote a masque entitled The Princely Pleasures, at the Courte at Kenelwoorth (1576). He also wrote a prose romance, The Pleasant Fable of Ferdinando Jeronimi (1587), and Dan Bartholomew of Bath (1573), a kind of novelette in verse. His Certayne Notes of Instruction concerning the Making of Verse or Rhyme in English (1575) is said to be the first attempt at a treatise on prosody in the language. He is, however, much more entertaining in undisguised verse narrative of his own experiences, as in The Voyage into Holland (1573) and Dulce Bellum Inexpertis (1575), the latter giving a vivid picture of his experiences in Flanders.
Selected Poetry of George Gascoigne (1534–1577)
He was educated at Cambridge and studied law at Gray's Inn, for which he translated two plays. He served with English troops...